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Had a real Bonfire of the Vanities moment on the way back from The Stable tonight. Headed back north on I-55 in the dark, amid a light drizzle, I decided to take the exit for Truman Parkway and see where it got me. Unfortunately, it got me exactly as far as Lafayette Avenue, at which point I figured I'd best find a way to get back on the highway. After making a quick right onto Lafayette, I made a right at the next light, S. 14th Street, hoping it might take me right back around to the highway on-ramp. As you can see here, that's exactly what it's supposed to do.

Instead, I quickly found myself on an unlit, half-paved drive, surrounded by overgrown brush. The drive narrowed as I crested a small rise—only to find myself at the edge of a vast expanse of muddy gravel. S. 14th Street, it seems, currently dead-ends in a vacant lot behind a currently under-construction Walgreens. The only way out, since S. 14th is a one-way street, appeared to be driving toward the already-constructed parking lot. I drove slowly across the gravel, headed for the parking lot—only to find myself stuck in the mud right next to what turned out to be a curb. After a series of fits and starts, I finally got my car unstuck—and came down with a big crunch on the other side of the curb.

Hyperventilating, I parked next to the building, where the light was better, and got out to check the car. Nothing creaked or popped or looked obviously broken, so after moving a traffic barrel to secure safe passage out of the lot, I made my way home on I-44.

Tomorrow, Alderwoman Phyllis Young is going to be hearing from me. I can't believe they don't have that street blocked off.

- - -

Edit 1: I moved my car the following morning and checked the street where I'd been parked, and saw several fresh oil spots. I took a flashlight and peered under the car, and it looked like the plastic housing over the oil-filter area had come partially dislodged. I couldn't see anything else that looked obviously damaged, but it was clear a visit to Dobbs was in my future. Thanks, Ward 7 and Koman Properties!

Edit 2: Read my letter to Alderwoman Young (which I addressed to her and a small selection of others by certified mail) here.

Edit 3: Read a transcript of Alderwoman Young's response here.

9:53 pm, September 18, 2009 :: batshitinsane

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